It’s that time of year to pretend to care about your body for a few weeks before you give up in despair and realize it’s your parents’ fault for not having better genes. SmartMoney has published another one of their “10 Things” articles, this time about the common workout hobo, or as they prefer to be called, “personal trainers.”
Some of the key things to keep in mind: with the explosion in personal trainers at gyms all over the country, it’s possible to end up with an “expert” who might not have as much formal training as you’d like. And some trainers can be more concerned with their own profits than with helping you. For instance, one former trainer with Ballys tells the magazine that he witnessed trainers intentionally over-exercising unfit clients to the point of collapse, in order to convince them that they were so out of shape that they needed to buy more training sessions. Some trainers will stick with only functional training—using balls, resistance tubes and bands, and balance equipmpent, for example—and not teach you how to use weight machines for fear of losing clients who become too confident in the gym. If your goal is to get motivated, learn how to exercise, and move on, make that clear during your first interview and talk about setting a goal for when and how you want to learn to use the equipment.
One good way to save money on personal training is to negotiate a group rate:
Though health clubs don’t typically dangle the group option in front of you, most personal trainers will work something out if you ask. After all, it’s a win-win situation. For a group of three, for example, the average fee of $60 per hour is reduced by half for each client, while the trainer brings in about 50% more than he typically makes in an hour. And it could mean a better workout: “There’s a lot to benefit from group camaraderie, as long as you don’t need a trainer counting every rep you do,” says Richard Cotton, national director of certification for the American College of Sports Medicine.